How many languages are endangered?


3,018 languages are endangered today.

As with the total number of languages, this count changes constantly. A language becomes endangered when its users begin to teach and speak a more dominant language to their children. Due to their nature, endangered languages often have few speakers left, and it may be difficult to get information about them. Other times, the last known speaker of a language may die without public records. Pictured here are today’s known endangered languages, each represented as a red pin in its primary country. To see specific language names, just hover over the pins – or click them to view our profile for the language.

While about 42% of languages are endangered based on our EGIDS measurement tool, many more are considered stable. Languages are stable when all the children in the community are still learning and using the language. If that situation changes, stable languages still have the possibility of declining until they are endangered.

Institutional languages are least likely to become endangered – they have been adopted by governments, schools, mass media, and more. Many are being used as second languages.

About Ethnologue Ethnologue is the research center for language intelligence. We help our clients identify languages, find where they’re spoken, get population estimates, and more.
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